How do you handle moving a steady rest on a lathe?
Do you have a UDE and just pic a point for it to go to and then output the M codes needed?
do you use a teach mode opp?
is there a graphical way of seeing where the steady is?
We have needed some good programming/simulation tools for programmable steady rests too. Siemens had told our company that v7.5 ISV could not handle steady rests without a dll - but that v8 forward could. We are on 8.5 now - but have not tried it. I suspect that a full machine configurator license will be needed to use the new capabilities unless they include an example out of the box.
As far as programming - NX programming does not show kinematics at a point in the sequential operation of a program. The ideal situation would be to have verify or simulate show the steady rest axes movement - maybe have ISV active and showed machine components at a certain point while programming in an operation - but I bet that would be a big software project. You could use assembly arrangements to show steady rests in positions for visual aid while programming.
To get the steady rests to move we use udes. As you mentioned - udes can include points and vectors so positions could possibly be associative and visual.
Another (more primitive) option (that is more useful for turning than milling)....
Create a 2D sketch in the turning plane (typically XM-ZM). Locate all sketch curves relative to a "location" line (centerline or right/left edge, however it is located on your machine) - then have an expression for the ZM position of the location line. Set the expression to the desired value, then replay operations.
IS&V should be able to handle it if it is a programmable axis (W or V or whatever), although the open/close may not simulate well.
We also use a UDEs for the position and (separately) open/close.
For positioning, you might want some options like "Park left" or "Park right" or "Z/W/V Value" (whatever the steady rest axis is). That way the post can handle some pre-defined cases, without the programmer having to remember "Left park position is "W-50", etc.)
Production: NX10.0.3.5 MP5 + patch/TC11.2
Apparently I've turned into a gearhead
Ken is right, it can be simulated in ISV. The kinematics model needs to have appropriate axes defined to match the steady callouts. Typically the CSE will call a subprogram to simulate the unclamping, re-positioning and re-clamping. The steady position is usually specified as an Axis. For example Mori Seiki calls the steadies ZA, ZB, ZC, etc. They don't need to be specified as "NC" Axes because they don't interpolate. The M codes that open and close them will trigger a sub program that moves the steady components. On closing, the support points will be moved untill they contact the shaft. The following YouTube video shows my first (and rather primitive) attempt at this. My apologies for the poor production quality, just wanted to share the concept with an associate.
All the best